The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at California State University, Fresno will get a boost to provide an ongoing stream of funding when a major endowment is announced at 3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, at the Satellite Student Union.
Participating in the announcement will be university President John D. Welty, Provost William Covino, dean of Global and Continuing Education Berta Gonzalez and OLLI director Dr. Shirley Bruegman. The endowment is from the Bernard Osher Foundation, which has funded Lifelong Learning Institutes at universities throughout the nation.
OLLI targets people 50 and older who want to expand on their learning, providing a rich array of workshops, short courses and field trips across a broad spectrum of interests. Fresno State professors teach many of the OLLI offerings.
OLLI has no entrance requirements, grades nor exams and boasts more than 500 members annually who participate.
Among the program’s most enthusiastic supporters are those who have been presenters.
“I prepared two presentations that involved engaging my music students with the Osher community,” said Dr. Michael Caldwell, a Fresno State music professor.
“Osher students were enthusiastic, inquisitive, supportive and interactive with my students. The program is one of the most effective ways in which our campus directly affects the lives of people in the community.”
A wide range of topics were presented at OLLI in 2009, from “Evolution and Creationism” to “Aging and Memory: It Isn’t as Bad as You Think.” The topic of the Dec. 7 session, which begins immediately after the endowment announcement, is “The Historical Rise and Decline of the Volga-Germans.”
Music professor Matthew Darling is also a fan of OLLI. “For me the Osher experience was both exciting and enlightening,” he said. “During my presentations on early rock ‘n’ roll, I learned as much as I hope they learned! It was one of those rare occasions where I gave 100 percent and received 100 percent. That does not happen often as a lecturer and when it does it is a great feeling.”